Lobby Group Demands Sports Leagues Do More For Climate Change

Think Colin Kaepernick was wrong to protest against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem before a professional football game?  Well, now an environmental group is taking such a stand to a new level.

After Blackrock CEO Larry Fink, who oversees the investment of more than $7 trillion, said last week that his firm would demand more attention to climate change from the companies they invest in, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has demanded that sports leagues get involved in pushing for action on climate change.

As the huge brushfires in Australia still smolder and the Australian Open tennis tournament gets underway, ACF’s Climate Change Program Manager Gavan McFadzean said:

“I know that people say that you should keep sports and politics separate, but that has never been the case. Sports organizations (need) to be more vocal in pushing for the climate change action that is needed.”

The ACF commissioned researchers at Monash University to examine the effects of climate change on three high-profile sports events held in Australia’s summer. The ‘Love 40, Degrees?’ report, looking at the Australian Open, was released on Monday.

Tennis Australia has committed to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework, but as with most environmental groups, that’s not enough for the ACF.

McFadzean wants sports leagues to demand action on climate change from their sponsors.  He said:

“One of the major sponsors of the Australian Open is the ANZ bank. Of the big four (banks), they’re the biggest investor in coal and gas in Australia,” he said.  so one of Tennis Australia’s major sponsors is contributing to the climate change that is affecting the Australian Open.”

This dust up is happening on the other side of the world from the U.S., but it’s easy to see how the same argument could affect sports in the States, with environmental groups pressuring the NFL to accept advertising only from sponsors they deem “climate-engaged.”

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